There is a whisper-fine line between love and obsession – and we have the songs, the movies, the novels and the criminal cases to prove it. Murder For My Man S1 on CBS Justice (170) in May turns the spotlight on women who’ve crossed the line into fatal attractions.

In each episode, psychologists and psychiatrists will examine the motives of a woman who has turned deadly in order to please or keep a man. And there will be first-person interviews with those close to the incidents, including investigators and the victim’s family members. From teenagers who followed their boyfriends’ orders to kill, to mothers who wanted to prove their devotion to their new man, there is nothing these women wouldn’t do in the name of love.

Just three of the series’ cases reveal why we find these stories so compelling. Love, and devotion are familiar, positive emotions… until they become all-consuming.

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Loyalty (episode 1)

In 2014, a New Orleans couple were found beaten and drowned. They’d had kettlebells tied to their feet before being tossed into the water under a highway bridge. The culprits were caught thanks to their jolly, smile-filled shopping spree for rope and kettlebells being caught on camera, and the fact that the purchase was made on the lady killer’s credit card. Just your average couple’s outing for former prison guard Brittany Martin and her man, Horatio Johnson, an inmate who charmed and stood up for her while she was working in the prison (a relationship that forced her resignation from the job). Even after they were arrested, Brittany refused to turn on her man. She stood by him as he murdered, and she intended to stay silent as the grave. “A part of her was afraid of him, but I think a part of it was she loved him. She was willing to do anything for him. He made her feel good about herself,” speculates therapist Dr April Johnson-Dumas. But all that “proving her love” for her man changed when Brittany’s attorney showed her a statement that proved that Horatio had been playing her all along.

Unity (episode 4)

16-year-old runaway Laura Taylor and her homeless 19-year-old boyfriend, Marvallous Keane, celebrated Christmas 1992 with a stack of bodies under the tree. They were the ringleaders in a series of robberies and shootings in Dayton, Ohio. Testimonies revealed that Laura fired up their gang, The Downtown Posse, by telling her friends, “Let’s get some drama in our lives.” And what started with setting up one victim by offering sex for cash, escalated into a night of random shootings and random victims along with Laura’s ex-boyfriends and a couple of their own Posse members. It was a lethal mix of teenaged infatuation, a desire to look cool to her pals, combined with a twisted idea of “fun”. Anything to prove to Marvallous that she was the queen to his king. “She’s going along for the ride, and sometimes with love you’re willing to do things that you wouldn’t normally do,” says therapist De’Asia Thompson. But Laura isn’t the only teenager wiling to commit violent crimes to impress her lover that Murder For My Man will profile this season!

Jealousy (episode 5)

In 2010, 17-year-old Tiara Arnold was arrested along with her 21-year-old boyfriend, Isaiah Washington, in connection with a Mother’s Day execution-style murder of two 18-year-old strangers. Prosecutor Jimmie Wilson claimed that it was Tiara who pulled the trigger on Isaiah’s AK-47, though, in a burst of temper after Isaiah quarrelled with her over getting her fingerprints on the victims’ car. And when Tiara’s 16-year-old friend, Joslyn Medellin, who was a passenger in the killer couple’s car, tried to flee the scene, Isaiah ordered Tiara to gun her down as well. But Joslyn’s testimony revealed that Isaiah wanted the her dead anyway – for refusing to have sex with him and Tiara. “He wanted three-way sex, and when she said no, he got angry. He went and got his gun and rage set in. Someone was going to die that night. Unfortunately, it was two innocent people,” said Tiara’s attorney Elliot Silver. But was Tiara obeying an angry man waving a weapon, or was she following orders out of love? That was a question her court case would hinge on.

Murder For My Man S1 starts on Monday, 4 May on CBS Justice (170) at 21:00

And don’t miss later in May…

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When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story

This true-crime movie dramatises and recreates the case of Falicia Blekely (hip-hop star Niatia ‘Lil Mama’ Kirkland), who was just 18 years old when she was accused of murdering three men. But was she a vicious killer stripper and hooker, or a desperate teen mom who’d been brainwashed and ordered around by the man acting as her pimp, Dino (Lance Gross)?

Watch on Thursday, 23 May on Lifetime (131) at 19:20


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Sex, Lies & Murder S2(B)

This true-crime series looks at what people do in the name of love. And the season opens with a juicy case involving the ultimate “power couple”, bodybuilding dream team Craig Titus and Kelly Ryan. In 2005, the corpse of a woman named Melissa James, who had been living with the couple and who had been sexually involved with them, was found burnt inside Kelly’s car. The episode will reveal a horror night of kidnapping, drug abuse, arson and lies, lies, lies!

Watch from Tuesday, 27 May on Lifetime (131) at 21:55


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